Smoke signals

• Entering Sunday's game against the Red Sox, Indians left fielder Michael Brantley was hitting .316, which was the 12th-highest batting average in the American League. Dating back to April 20, Brantley had a .346 (44-for-127) average with 22 RBIs in 30 games. He had reached base via hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in 39 of his 45 games played.

"He's got a really pretty swing," Francona said. "He's got a swing that doesn't need a lot of maintenance. By that, I mean there's not a lot of moving parts. As you get more at-bats and more experience and know the league, it wouldn't shock me if he hits for more power."

• Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was in the starting lineup for Sunday's game in Boston, but Francona gave him a day off the field. Cabrera served as the designated hitter and Mike Aviles was in the lineup at short. Given Cabrera's history of fading in the second half (over the past two seasons, he has hit .247 in the second half compared to .290 in the first half), Francona is looking for spots to give Cabrera some rest.

"I thought it'd be good for him," Francona said. "I know in the past they've talked about him playing himself into he ground. I don't want that to happen. He's playing really good baseball. He's being really aggressive on the bases and everything."

• The Indians' bullpen, which had a 3.63 ERA going into Sunday's game, has endured a rough week. Dating back to May 18, Cleveland's relief corps has posted a 6.59 ERA (13th in the AL in that span), allowing 20 runs on 30 hits in 27 1/3 innings.

• Right-hander Brett Myers, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 20, is scheduled to make a Minor League rehab start for Triple-A Columbus on Monday. Myers went 0-3 with an 8.02 ERA in four outings before being shut down with a right elbow injury.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.